There is probably nothing more powerful in life than the ability to ask good questions. I myself still talk too much and ask too little (relatively speaking) and am working on changing that. Still, if you are looking for great (general) questions, here is a list I believe will open the world to you. I wish I could remember where I copied the text below (so whoever wrote this, my apologies for not crediting you accordingly).
Information gathering questions
- What made you decide to go into this sector?
- What prompted you/ your company to look into this?
- What are your expectations/ requirements for this product/ service?
- What process did you go through to determine your needs?
- How do you see this happening?
- What is it that you’d like to see accomplished?
- With whom have you had success in the past?
- With whom have you had difficulties in the past?
- Can you help me understand that a little better?
- What does that mean?
- How does that process work now?
- What challenges does that process create?
- What challenges has that created in the past?
- What are the best things about that process?
- What other items should we discuss?
- What do you see as the next action steps?
- What is your timeline for implementing/ purchasing this type of service/
- What other data points should we know before moving forward?
- What budget has been established for this?
- What are your thoughts?
- Who else is involved in this decision?
- What could make this no longer a priority?
- What’s changed since we last talked?
- What concerns do you have?
Establishing rapport, trust & credibility questions
- How did you get involved in…?
- What kind of challenges are you facing?
- What’s the most important priority to you with this? Why?
- What other issues are important to you?
- What would you like to see improved?
- How do you measure that?
(remember: no leading… no prompting… no interrupting.)